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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Patch 4.0.1 Tomorrow? Update 2

You're all going to ask anyway. The answer is very likely no, they pushed a PTR build over the week-end and I don't see them testing a Release Candidate so quickly. Most likely next week
Plus they already announced the maintenance for tuesday:

We will be performing scheduled maintenance on Tuesday, October 5th. Maintenance will begin at 5:00 AM PDT and conclude at approximately 11:00 AM PDT. During this time, all realms and many web services will be unavailable.

If you see next weeks maintenance as a (extended for all realms maintenance) then it's most likely patch day.

Update 1: Maintenance has been extended till 1pm pdt, sneaky bastards or just regular maintenance crap? we shall see....... 

Update 2: Blue post says, no patch today. (source)

Blue Post On Cataclysm Tanking/Threat Management

Tanks with 100k HP 2-shot in Heroic
If your tanks are taking 50K in a boss hit, then one of the following is most likely true:

1) You are ignoring some mechanic of the fight (like debuffing or interrupting).
2) You're talking about an isolated scary moment in the fight when you and the tank need to consider cooldowns.
3) The encounter is bugged or overtuned. If you suspect this is the case, then provide specific feedback (the name of the boss at the very least) in the dungeons and raids forums (ideally the beta version).

If you are a reasonably competent healer who uses a variety of heals and isn't spamming Divine Light on every trash pull, then you should be able to keep everyone alive. If your group isn't just ignoring encounter mechanics and trying to burn the boss down, then you shouldn't be running out of mana either. (Source)

As I said in the other thread just now, you shouldn't be dependent on Vengeance to maintain threat in 5-player dungeons. Vengeance scales slowly and falls off quickly for that reason -- we don't want that to be the system that lets you stay ahead. It's intended to help with raid scaling, not be a crutch for poor dps.

As we have said several times, we don't want Prot paladins to fill every GCD. You also shouldn't need to in order to maintain threat.

If you are having difficulties in PTR or on Beta, please let us know, but be as specific as you can. Who were you losing threat to? What kind of dps were they doing? Was it an AE or single target scenario? How was their gear relative to yours? We're unlikely to just buff threat generation based on generic "I have threat problems" reports. Specificity is the key here. It could very well be a bug on the side of the tank or the dps that is causing the problem.

Remember that we very recently buffed the threat generation of Righteous Fury (and similar mechanics for the other tanks), so try and base your perceptions on very recent experiences. Things change pretty quickly at this stage. (Source)

Vengeance falling off
It shouldn't translate to bosses though, because you shouldn't be dependent on Vengeance to keep threat. If Vengeance falls off, you shouldn't immediately wipe. That's not the intent. We don't want Vengeance to be the ultimate threat ability. It will eventually stack up and generally stay that way. It shouldn't be a razor's edge for you being able to keep threat.

-- The rouge pulls as soon as the fight starts -- a tank problem perhaps, but not a Vengeance problem. (It could also be that the rogue is hitting the wrong target or not waiting for the tank.)
-- The healer's hots pull mob #5 in an AE situation -- a tank problem perhaps, but not a Vengeance problem. (It could also be that the tank is terrible at generating threat.)
-- Six minutes into a boss fight, the mage starts to creep up on your threat -- this is a Vengeance problem. (It could also be that the tank isn't doing a good job hitting their main attacks.)

The reason we keep downplaying Vengeance in 5-player dungeons, which is all anyone is running at the moment on beta, is because it's not a dungeon mechanic. If you need a comparison, think of something like Fortitude or Blessing of Kings. It's nice but not at all mandatory for even heroic 5-player runs. It's pretty close to mandatory for a raid. (Source)

Tank Threat
We don't want tank threat to be so high that the dps are absolved of all responsibility. If players are on the wrong targets, that is a L2P problem. If the mage opens with Arcane Blast before you even get a hit in, that is a L2P problem. If your group feels like they have to wait 6-10 seconds before they can start attacking, then that's either a tank problem or a problem on our end. Likewise, if your group feels constantly throttled several seconds or minutes into the fight, then either you aren't generating as much threat as you are capable of, or our numbers are preventing you from doing so. (Source)

Paladin (Forums / 3.3.5 Talent Calculator / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Divine Plea
Your calculations seem to assume that damage comes in at a steady rate and so you can just solve for when to use Divine Plea. But damage usually doesn't work like that. You should use Divine Plea at the right time, which doesn't always mean as soon as you start to get low. (Source)

Using all your GCDs
Yes, and we have said this a lot, so it shouldn't come as a surprise. In a nutshell, the problem with filling every single GCD is it gives you no room to do anything else. If you're called upon to do something special or even run away or even look around to see how the fight is going, you don't have the cognitive space to do so. If we give you a proc to use and your rotation is so locked then you can't use the proc, then we have a problem. If you literally can't stand to go 1.5 sec every now and then without hitting a button, then our game has serious problems.

I know this is really weird for paladins who just have the muscle memory of always hitting something -- anything -- every GCD. It will take some getting used. Just try to evaluate whether it's truly not fun or whether it's just really different. Having any class that hits a button every 1.5 seconds is something we're trying to move away from though. We don't think it's good for the game.

You should not be using Hammer of the Righteous or Inquisition on single target fights, because there are better alternatives. Holy Wrath is designed to be used in both single target or group fights. (And if you can't use Holy Wrath because of breaking CC concerns, then back the target away or just hold off on Holy Wrath for the time being -- same as a warrior using Thunder Clap). I would use Avenger's Shield on both single target or group fights, though it can be used in a lot of different ways, so if you need to silence a caster, then I would use some common sense there. I would use Consecrate for groups, particularly for spawning or moving groups. If you have the mana to use it single target, then go for it. Exorcism is probably too expensive to ever be a serious Protection ability. (Source)

Tanking abilities
This keeps coming up, so let me just spell it out.

Single target abilities: Crusader Strike, Shield of the Righteous, Judgement, Holy Wrath, Consecrate (maybe), Avenger's Shield.

AE abilities: Hammer of the Righteous, Inquisition, Judgement, Holy Wrath, Consecrate, Avenger's Shield.

That's ignoring things like Divine Protection, Word of Glory, Hammer of Justice, Hammer of Wrath, etc.

I wouldn't just hit all of those on cooldown though. Sometimes you want to position Consecrate, as you point out, or save Avenger's Shield to deal with adds. Sometimes you risk breaking CC. Sometimes you might want to blow a cooldown or use a Hand or something else. (Source)

Threat generation and GCD
I see two different arguments keep coming up.

The first is that you can't generate enough threat without more buttons to push. This isn't our design and it sounds like threat may still just be too tight in some circumstances. More GCDs does not have to be the answer to threat situations though. If Avenger's Shield hit for 60K then you'd have a healthy threat lead for a long time.

The second argument is that you just like having to hit something every single global. This isn't a "I can't function" complaint like the one above. It's a personal preference. We don't think there is anything sacred about the 1.5 sec GCD. I think current paladins have just grown accustomed to hitting a button every 1.5 sec. But we don't think the current paladin plays well. We don't like the 969 rotation. If you do, I understand, but it isn't coming back.

Let's get the threat situation ironed out and see how the Protadin plays for you then. At worst some of you may find the spec boring, but a lot of players find it boring on live, so we're not really out much there. If playing it is less EZ mode on the other hand, it might be more interesting to you or perhaps to other players who never paid the class much attention before. (Source)

Protection Paladin rotation complexity (I strongly suggest that you read the whole Paladin Tanking Thread)
This was a problem though, because the Protection paladin was a fairly easy spec to play well while the other 3 tanks had a lot more they had to manage. It was frustrating for the warriors, druid and death knights to have to give it their all just to keep up with a novice paladin. (To be fair, the other option is just to make everyone more autopiloty.)

Now don't get me wrong. We often ask a lot of tanks in terms of moving the boss, knowing when the big hits are coming, and so on. We don't want the paladin rotation to be John Madden, and we don't everything to collapse if you fail to hit Crusader Strike at the right time. I'm getting the impression that threat is on the razor's edge for a lot of you, which is going to make everything feel too restrictive and frustrating. It could be a level 80 issue (since we have spent most of our time balancing at 85) or it could be that players are doing different things that we are doing internally or seeing on the beta. We watch a lot of dungeons, but we don't catch everything. (Source)